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Questions About Hymen

Published: April 25, 2018
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Hello, I'€™m a 16 year old female. I'€™m lesbian and have a girlfriend. She'€™s been able to finger me with one finger for months now. It's always hurt a little but gradually got better. Two fingers was a little painful but couldn’t be pushed all the way in. I asked her why and she said there'€™s a "string"€ in the way that goes between her two fingers and she thought if she pushed too hard it would break. I felt for myself and felt the "€œstring"€ she was talking about. I looked it up and saw a diagram of a septate hymen and the picture matched exactly what i felt which then explained why tampons were an issue for me and why i use pads instead. I read that some girls break naturally but it can bleed and cause infection. Is this likely a septate hymen or is there supposed to be something in the way that breaks? So i discussed the surgery with my mom and I'm supposed to have an appointment later this month I'€™m just curious if i should continue to allow my girlfriend to finger me or is it too risky that she might break it? Is oral sex fine bc it doesn'™t go in? Thank you so much sorry for the long question!

Signed: Questions About Hymen

Dear Questions About Hymen,

For our readers who may not be aware, a hymen is as “a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. Hymens can come in different shapes. The most common hymen in young girls is shaped like a half moon. This shape allows menstrual blood to flow out of a girl’s vagina.”

According to Boston Children’s Hospital, “Sometimes, the membrane has a band of extra tissue — called a septate hymen — in the middle, which creates two openings to the vagina.” Teenagers with a septate hymen may have trouble inserting or taking out a tampon.

You stated that you have spoken with your mother about this issue, and have scheduled an appointment with a medical professional for later this month. During your visit, your pediatrician and/or gynecologist will determine necessary treatment. Most commonly, the treatment for a septate hymen is minor surgery to remove the extra band of tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening.

If the sexual activity you engage in is causing discomfort, TeenHealthFX suggests abstaining until you are able to meet with your physician. TeenHealthFX recommends that all sexually active teenagers practice protection every time they have sexual intercourse in order to protect from sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.

FX suggests that you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and more. The more educated you are about these topics, the more likely you will make healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your sexual health. 

TeenHealthFX suggests browsing the following resources for additional information:

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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